Today in Labor History: April 23
Death of Ida Mae Stull, nationally recognized as the country’s first woman coal miner – 1980
(I Knew I Could Do This Work: Seven Strategies That Promote Women’s Activism and Leadership in Unions: Although nearly half of union members in the United States are female, little more than one leadership position in five is held by a woman. This report is designed to promote women’s activism and leadership within unions across the country at the local, state, regional, and national levels.)
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Member Tip: You and the Union’s Bargaining Team
Think about asking to work on a union bargaining subcommittee that will have the job of researching the issues or digging up facts to respond to what the employer’s pushing for. Or, if your union does this, you could volunteer to be a special bargaining representative for your work area. Your job then is to help the union negotiators by distributing information on what’s happening at the negotiating table—through handing out flyers or holding small worksite meetings—and to function as the union’s “eyes and ears” on the shop floor, so that the union bargaining team can keep alert to what the members are thinking. Or you may be able to serve on a special bargaining council, usually a pretty large group set up so that representatives from each work area can advise the bargaining team throughout negotiations.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer